Allergies

Please see/call the school nurse if your child has a known allergy.  If an Epi-pen or Benadryl is needed for a child while at school-a Physician's Authorization for Medication at School form (see below) must be filled out a and signed by a physician.

 All medication must be supplied by the family in a new and unopened container with a clearly marked label.   

 A child may self carry his Epi-pen while at school if permission is granted by the doctor on the form.  

If your child has a dietary allergy, an additional form is required (Medical Statement 2015 PDF- see below)  for that child to eat in the cafeteria.

These forms must be updated annually with a physician's signature.  

LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIC REACTION (ANAPHYLAXIS) INFORMATION FOR SCHOOL PERSONNEL   

  • 20-25% OF REACTIONS AT SCHOOL INVOLVE STUDENTS WHO’S ALLERGY WAS UNKNOWN.
  • FOOD ALLERGY IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF ANAPHYLAXIS.
MORE THAN 15% OF STUDENTS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES HAVE HAD A REACTION IN SCHOOL. 
10% OF CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY.

 WHAT IS ANAPHYLAXIS?

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to a specific allergen (trigger).  The body perceives this trigger as a threat; forms antibodies in defense, which release histamines that produce a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).  Anaphylactic reactions do not usually occur after the first exposure to an allergen, but after subsequent exposures.  Anaphylaxis occurs quickly after exposure, it is severe, life-threatening, and involves one or more body systems.

What can trigger an anaphylactic reaction?  Anaphylaxis can occur in response to any allergen.  Common allergens include, but are not limited to:

•Foods, such as eggs, nuts, and shell fish

•Medications

•Insect bites/stings

•Latex allergies

·   Unknown causes

Pollens and other inhaled allergens rarely cause anaphylaxis. 

What are the symptoms?  Symptoms develop rapidly, and may include the following:

  • Respiratory System: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain/tightness, swelling or tightness of the throat, hoarse voice, nasal congestion, trouble swallowing.
  • Cardiovascular System: weak pulse, dizzy or lightheaded, loss of consciousness or collapse, shock, pale/blue color, palpations.
  • Skin: hives/itching, warmth, redness, rash.
  • Gastrointestinal System: nausea/vomiting, pain, cramps, diarrhea.
  • Central Nervous System: uneasiness, throbbing headache, dizziness, confusion, tunnel vision.
  • Other symptoms: swelling of the tongue, anxiety, headache, metallic taste, and some report a sense of impending doom.

How is it treated? Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition that requires medical attention immediately.  Emergency medical services ( 911) should be accessed and the student should be transported to the hospital as soon as possible.  Epinephrine is the first-line of treatment and is administered immediately upon presentation of symptom(s), and emergency medical services (911) are called without delay.  Epinephrine quickly works to reverse symptoms of a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) by constricting blood vessels to increase blood pressure, relaxing smooth muscles in the lungs to reduce wheezing/improve breathing, stimulating the heart (increasing heart rate), reduce hives, and swelling around the face/lips.

What should one do in case of an anaphylactic allergic reaction?  Position student so breathing is comfortable; administer his/her emergency medication. 

CALL 911 and NOTIFY PARENT. 

 

How do you reduce the likelihood of an anaphylactic reaction? 

Have a “no food sharing” rule. 
Keep “safe snacks” in the classroom for unplanned events. 

·         Encourage hand washing after food handling and eating.

·         Wash surfaces after food is eaten or used.

·         Use nonfood items for classroom projects, academic rewards, and classroom celebrations.

·         Encourage packaged food items with ingredient labels, as opposed to home‐baked goods.

·         Identifying ingredients in art materials and paint products as some contain egg.

·         Avoid modeling clay, paper mâché, crayons, soaps, and materials that contain allergens.

·         Be sure school supplies such as pencils, band aids, and gloves do not contain latex.